Water Quality - Chemistry and Microbiology





Offered by

Supply Engineering




SE/CE-SCI1 or similar.

Main purpose

​For the student to obtain a background in basic chemistry and microbiology related to water quality which can be applied in the fields of drinking water, wastewater, district heating and climate adaptation.


After completing the course, the student will be able to understand and use the following basic chemistry and microbiological terms and methods:

- Describe and differentiate the different types of chemical bonds and intermolecular forces, give specific examples of chemical compounds for each type, and give specific examples on how these can influence the water quality and can be applied in the water treatment, including ion exchange, freezing point depressions.
- Describe and differentiate various aspects of aqueous solutions relevant for water quality with respect to drinking water, wastewater, district heating and climate adaptation, including coagulation, flocculation, and chemical precipitation.
- Explain chemical equilibrium and carry out calculations with the Law of Mass Action
- Explain and describe acids, bases, and buffers and use the calculation of pH in aqueous solutions with relevance for water treatment and water quality
- Describe basic chemistry of gas in water with relevance for the water treatment and water quality, including dissolved oxygen and oxygen demand
- Calculate oxidation numbers and balance redox reactions with relevance for corrosion, water treatment and water quality.
- Describe the structure of basic organic molecules including ATP and DNA
- Describe the taxonomic classification system of microorganisms and name common bacteria
- List different types of microorganisms and describe the general cell structure of bacteria and eukaryotes
- Explain the bacterial growth phases and calculate bacterial growth rates
- Explain AOC, BDOC, biological stability and after growth in relation to water quality
- Describe the application of disinfection strategies for microorganisms (e.g., heat, chlorination, UV)
- Describe the most important microbiological processes in drinking water and wastewater treatment (nitrification, denitrification, degradation of organic matter, etc.) and give examples of the involved bacteria
- Describe the structure, development, and function of biofilms in water systems


After completing the course, the student will be able to:

- Apply basic chemical and microbiological methods to address water quality issues related to processes of drinking water, wastewater, district heating and climate adaptations
- Compare and evaluate water quality parameters for water samples
- Evaluate the principles and application of various methods for chemical analyses of water samples (e.g., spectrophotometry, nepholometry, electrochemical methods)
- Compare and evaluate the application of culture-based (e.g., HPC), enzymatic (e.g., ATP) and molecular biology (e.g. PCR) methods for water quality analysis
- Describe growth optimum of microorganisms and understand the influence of environmental factors (e.g., temperature, pH and nutrients) on microbial growth
- Contrast beneficial, pathogenic and indicator organisms and give examples of microorganisms in each group in water systems
Compare planktonic and sessile mode of growth and discuss the advantages for microorganisms of living in a biofilm



Teaching methods and study activities

Lectures, individual exercises, group exercises, lab work, self-study, homework assignments.
137.5 hours of work for the student


​All course materials will be made available for the student as lecture notes, links to reading materials and video materials etc. directly in the course at ItsLearning.



Exam prerequisites:

Type of exam:
Written exam in total 4 hours, composed of two parts: 
​1-hour multiple choice and 3 hours written exam
External assessment.

Tools allowed:
No material aids allowed during 1-hour multiple choice exam
All material aids allowed during 3-hours written exam

Equal to the ordinary exam.​

Grading criteria

​Grading based on the Danish 7-point scale.

Additional information


Ditte Andreasen Søborg

Valid from

8/1/2023 12:00:00 AM

Course type


Water quality, chemistry, microbiology</div>